tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC December 21, 2009 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
this hour on "the big picture" -- >> the yeas are 60s, nays 40. three-fifths of the senators having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. >> in the u.s. senate, a boost to health care reform, and it required every democrat to be there, including 92-year-old robert byrd. what was this senator thinking? >> what the american people want to pray is that somebody can't make the votes tonight. >> reporter: showing you the reaction to that controversy and reveal the senate health care winners and losers. plus, the east coast is just beginning to thaw out from the weekend blizzard, but airports and train stations are still a mess. >> sit back and relax. we'll get you rebooked as soon as we can. >> reporter: we'll also look at
the economic impact on retailers who depend on this big weekend before the holiday. new questions surrounding the death of brittany murphy. we'll talk to one of the last reporters who interviewed her. the emerging strategy for 2010, president obama will focus on the u.s. budget deficit. >> business as usual in washington just won't cut it. we need a government that's more efficient, that's more effective, and far more fiscally responsible. and a new danger in nfl football. humiliation. all that, and more, this hour, on msnbc. good afternoon, everyone. i'm lynn berry live in new york. >> i'm david shuster live in washington. tamron is on special assignment today. reaction continues to pour in after that vote on health care reform. they kept all 60 members of their caucus and broke a
republican effort to force a straight up or down vote. the crucial vote came just after 1:00 in the morning. >> is there anyone wishing to vote, wishing to change their vote? if not, on this vote, the yeas are 60, the nays are 40. three-fifths of the senators dully chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. >> just a few hours ago, president obama described the action as historic. >> the united states senate knocked down a filibuster aimed at blocking a final vote and scored a big victory for the american people. by standing up to the special interests who have prevented reform for decades, and were furiously lobbying against it now, the senate has moved us closer to reform that makes a tremendous difference for families, for seniors, for businesses and for the country as a whole. >> the bill would bring
insurance coverage to 94% of all americans. the nonpartisan congressional budget office says it would cost $871 billion over tep years but shave $132 billion off of the federal budget deficit. a few procedural votes are still left in the senate this week, but the action this morning means the measure is on track now to pass the senate by christmas eve of the. then the bill will go into a committee to try to emerge the legislation with what the house pass the last month. final passage in both chambers is now expected by the end of january. however, a few crucial hurdles remain. nbc's luke russert joins us live from capitol hill. luke, what's been the reaction up there and what have they seen as the crucial op stack also between the senate and the house? >> reporter: well, david, as you mike expect, democrats are ecstatic they were essentially to get this through the senate. all that's left now is a few procedural votes. but they are pretty confident that this bill is the one that will become health care reform.
but there are still two things that are really going to be interesting when this goes to conference, that they're going to have to overcome. number one is the abortion issue. in the house, there's a group of members led by bart stupack of michigan who wrote the strong pro-life abortion amendment, that this compromise does not go far enough. and there's a group of liberals opposed to the amendment, thought it would die in the senate bill who say that this abortion compromise of nelson goes too far. nancy pelosi and steny hoir are going to have to get them to an agreement. number two, how do you pay for this bill. both chambers differ on this greatly. the house has a surtax on the wealthy. those earning $500,000 or more. the senate, a lot of where their payment for the bill comes from, is a tax on cadillac insurance plans. people in the house aren't a big fan of that because organized labor does not really like that. also, the medicare payroll tax, the senate supports an increase
on that, that seems to be getting traction in the house. that could be an area where there's compromise. abortion and how to pay for the bill, those are the two last hurdles facing this bill. most likely we'll see the end of conference end of january, maybe early february. >> we played a clip at the top of the show, but any reaction tom colburn suggest people prayed that somebody not show up last night? any clarification from his office? >> reporter: as of right now, we have not heard anything. senator durbin, as you know, asked them to come down to the floor repeatedly. people talking this up to being typical partisan bickering between both sides. some were taken aback suggesting he wished physical harm upon one member. republicans said he was just speaking his mind. that's the way senator colburn really is. i think at the end of the day they'll all still be friends in 2010. for the sake of our democracy, hopefully. >> nbc's luke russert. luke, great stuff as always from
capitol hill. thanks for joining us. >> take care. david, now to the bigger picture, who are the winners and who are the losers now that the senate bill is on track towards passage. chris at the washington post.com compiled a list of winners and losers on health care. winners, include president obama, senator harry reid, senator ben nelson and senator john mccain. let's look at the losers. harry reid makes that list as well because back in his home stayed of nevada, support for health care reform is not as strong and now he owns it. senator joe lieberman makes the list who effectively killed the public option and will face the wrath of progressives at the polls. other losers include liberals who lost out on the public option. of course, climate change legislation like cap and trade isn't likely to see the light of day in an election year. progressives continue to express deep concern that the legislation is a gift to the for-profit insurance companies,
and on nbc's "meet the press," former dnc chairman howard dean said the big winner was the insurance companies. >> private insurance will be the way that we achieve universal health care. that means we'll have a 30-year battle with the insurance industry, every time when we try to control across and get them to do things. it is not a coincidence that health insurance company stocks hit a 52-year high on friday. so they must know something that the rest of us don't. >> for more analysis, let's bring in david druker, staff reporter for role call. before we get to whether you agree with the winners and losers, you just wrote an article saying turn out the lights, the party's over, democratic leaders declare victory. a lot of people saying there's a ways to go. you have to reconcile it in the house and senate bill. >> that's right. that's going to be in january. and possibly very contentious conference committee
negotiation. but what i was talking about with my story was the effort in the senate. and with last night's, or i should say early this early morning's procedural vote on an amendment to the bill, all 60 democrats voted to do that. and that kind of sealed the deal for harry reid after several weeks of not knowing whether he would be able to have all of his members onboard. all of the republicans are opposed, but they only have 40 seats. not enough to sustain a filibuster. in the senate it's all but over. there's nothing really the republicans can do procedurally to trip things up. >> let's go to some of the winners we've been talking about all day. of course, claims from the right that the insurance companies are really the big winners here. do you agree with that? >> not necessarily. there's a lot of regulations that are going to be placed on insurance companies. you've also started with the precedent of regulating insurance companies much more than has ever been do. so if you were to talk to them, they do not see this necessarily as a win. although they do believe if they can get away with this without a
public insurance option, then they will have succeeded at something. and so i think it remains to be seen what comes out of the conference committee. obviously not everybody disagrees with that. but i think this is really in the eye of the beholder. >> david, i wonder if this is also a case where there's a divide between the substance of the bill and the politics, that you can make a strong argument, that the democrats are the political winners in the public can say, they can govern, get things done. but if this turns out to be a very bad set of policies, essentially the american people end up being the losers here. >> well, i think you're right, david. there are two ways to look at this. you can look at this legislateively. and you have to say today, senate democrats and house democrats are the winner. they managed to wrangle enough members behind a bill to get it done. that waste easy. it shows that harry reid is really good at deal making within his caucus. but there's another game, and it's the political game and that game's not going to be over until november 2nd, 2010, and
then there's the 2012 election. we could find out actually the republicans won this game. they have so far won the battle of public opinion. i think mitch mcconnell and john boehner have kept their constituents unified in the majorities from the democrats. and if the american people decide they don't like this bill, as you mentioned that they might, then they're going to throw out a lot of democrats next november. republicans are going to gain a lot of seats and a lot more power. and so when we look at who wins and who loses, you have to look at the separate games going on. there's the inside game. the democrats appear to have won that for now. there's the outside game which i think the republicans are winning but the game is far from over. we're maybe only halftime, second quarter, we've got a ways to go. >> what about president obama in that equation? >> well, i think president obama's requesting to rise and fall on the economy and unemployment. and so although we're looking at health care today, i think come this summer if unemployment is down to 7.5%, if it's trending
downward every single month, people are going to feel better about everything he does. no matter what they originally felt about it today. if unemployment is still too high for their taste, they're going to make him pay in 2010. if the economy really hasn't turned around enough by 2012, as masterful of a politician he has been thus far, as great as an orator as he is, as smart as he is, the american people could make it tough for him to keep his job. they just want results. they look at things a little bit differently than you and i from here. >> all right. david, thank you so much for joining us. and david dr, cker described sort of the locker room reaction after the vote was over and celebration on the democrat side. >> there was a lot of jubilation in the democratic caucus. a lot of people around town say this underscores, essentially there's no price that anybody pays right now for crossing
president obama. and you saw that play out repeatedly in the health care debate. there are a lot of concerns now that's sort of a fundamental weakness of vulnerability of the the republicans, even democrats who disagree with president obama are going to be able to exploit in the year ahead unless the president changes the dynamics. >> absolutely. >> a lot of -- a lot that people are learning from the health care debate about the big issues coming in the future. >> politics, absolutely. now, the struggle to get back -- to get the air travel back on track after this weekend's major snowstorm on the east coast. some areas were buried under more than two feet of snow. thousands of people are still stranded at airports. after some 5,000 flights were canceled over the weekend. the good news is that runways are clear now and all airports are open, in addition major airlines, including delta, american and united did add some flights today to help clear up the backlog of passengers. michelle franzen is at laguardia airport in new york. and michelle, what is the latest in the new york area? >> reporter: david, even with
that said, with airlines adding seat capacity, and airlines -- airplanes to their flights it still could take days for airline travel return to normal. thousands of flights canceled. and just not enough time in the week to make up before christmas. take a look at laguardia, things are starting to pick up again. another wave of travelers coming in. cancellations very far and few between. here's how it looks nationwide. you've got delays of just slightly 15 minutes, or less at the bulk of airports around the country. here in the northeast, a few delays between 15 and 30 minutes. and that is building again because of the evening flights. you had at least 450 flights here alone at laguardia canceled. if you had a ticket here on a normal day and got a seat today, it was pretty much travel as usual. but if you've been waiting it out since about saturday or sunday trying to get a flight out, that is where the challenge comes in. airlines are trying to again raise that capacity at a time, david, when the airline industry
has reduced that capacity, and this has become a perfect storm mix in the height of holiday travel season with bad weather and few seats. >> michelle, we see a lot of folks behind you, hopefully they're not throwing their suitcases out of frustration. but we saw someone sprint past you. can you grab one to see if they have a story with their personal experience there at laguardia? >> reporter: certainly we've seen passengers throughout the whole day come through and a few have had stories where they've been here for days. but most of the people who are camping out are beyond the security gates here. and a lot of people are just waiting it out for their flight of the day here at the food court. a lot of stories that we hear mingling throughout the food court here today. and elsewhere. but certainly at this hour, things are running quite smoothly. >> nbc's michelle franzen at laguardia airport in new york. thanks for the report. and lynn, it's been a tough couple of days.
>> absolutely. david, i was actually down in washington this weekend, had to make the tough drive back up the 95 corridor. a lot of frustration, white knuckles going up that corridor. just not easy. it's the worst time of the year for this to happen. >> yeah. coming up, the question surrounding brittany murphy's tragic death. what caused the 32-year-old to go into cardiac arrest? we are going to talk to a reporter who's interviewed the actress. retailers are hoping for a shopping frenzy to make up for the east coast snowstorm that kept so many shoppers home this weekend. plus, the nfl football player with the move that you can bet was not in the playbook. so many arthritis pain relievers --
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welcome back to "the big picture." hollywood lost one of its stars at a very young age over the weekend. that, of course, is raising many, many questions. pr brittany murphy died at the age of just 32 years old. >> the los angeles kor oh nor is conducting an autopsy this afternoon. there are initial reports that blamed her death on natural causes. but the kor oh nor said prescription drugs were found in her home. brittany's big break came in 1995 with the film "clueless" where she co-starred with silver
stone. silver stone reacted by saying, i always felt connected to her as we shared a very special experience in our lives together. i feel love in my heart for her and hope she is at peace. joining us now for the latest on what may have caused brittany's death, drew, editor at large for "us weekly" magazine. you were personally friendly with brittany. you were acquaintances with her. there are reports out there that there were eating disorders, drug use. she's said, though, publicly in other interviews that's not the case. what do you know about that? >> well, you know, i've interviewed dozens of celebrities on drugs that tell me straight out, i'm 100% not on drugs, i've never done them. those are the ones that are the most hooked. it always seems to be that way. they end up in rehab or busted or have some fatality happen unfortunately. >> did you see any signs of drug use? >> i did, i have to say. i was close to her. i had seen things good on around her that indicated there was drug use going on. >> are you thinking this is a
combination between that and her weight? she was so thin. >> what i am thinking in everything, especially when i heard the news, is that it's the toll everything's taken on her body. her body issues, knowing she had a very low self-esteem and a lot of insecurity. she definitely, you know, didn't have everything natural all the time. i am hearing from sources the prescription pill use escalated during the end of her life and now we're seeing signs of that. she always had a very little girl lost quality, i keep saying. to myself every time i met her, there was always something about her that was very sweet and you wanted to take her under your wing, but something was off. >> we want to make clear we're waiting the coroner report and we don't know that anything was involved other than natural causes, or that this was simply, you know, still under investigation. >> yes. not officially, no. but we just know, you know, i know people close to her and
i've heard quite a lot about what has been going on in her life over the last few years. >> can you describe whether or not she had a sort of stable set of friends, or was this sort of a partying crowd? did she have family out there? or did she seem lost in hollywood? >> it did seem like she was lost. she did not have a stable group of friends. i knew her before, when she was with ashton kutcher, and after that, it sort of seemed like she was looking for something. and it sort of seemed like that's when her career started spiraling down a little bit. the next thing i know the night before the oscar party, she introduced me to her current husband, i was taken a little aback, because he was much older, wasn't someone she would normally look like she would be with. i didn't think i heard it right. i thought this must be her manager or something. i wasn't familiar with her. and they started holding hands and ka rasing each other and i was like, oh, i thought it was very strange. the next thing you knew, they
were announcing themselves as a couple months later and then engaged and then married. it shocked me from the beginning. it just didn't seem right. it seemed like she was looking for a father figure, because her own father was in prison. >> what was monjack's reputation or what did they think of him? putting this weekend aside, what was his general reputation? >> when i first met him at that point i didn't know much about him. but "us weekly" had done some stories after that, sort of exposing some of the shady, if you will, past endeavors that he had. there were some laundering of money accusations. again, all of this alleged. there were a lot of people alleging things weren't kosher with him and that he wasn't necessarily the best influence on her. one thing i do know from mutual friends we've had is that he had a very controlling influence over her. and almost a svengali-like hold over her. >> andrew, thank you very much for your insight on that.
>> of course. >> david, of course, we want to make clear we're awaiting that coroner's report. we do not have any information about what the actual cause of death was. >> that's right. that information, of course, will be very crucial. but regardless, i mean, she's gone. and for people who liked her, loved her, nothing's going to really change -- nothing's going to change it. at some point it's not going to matter how she died, it's the fact she's gone and i suppose you could call it another hollywood tragedy. >> at 32 years old, exactly. a california appeals court today rejected roman polanski's bid to have his decades-old sex case dismissed, but the court cited grave concerns over prosecutorial misconduct in the case. he fled in 1978 on the eve of his sentencing. he was arrested in switzerland in september on a u.s. warrant. he was granted bail last month and remains under house arrest at his swiss chalet. david, still ahead, only a few more days left to take care of your christmas shopping.
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call fidelity at... for details about guaranteed income for life, and change the way you think about your retirement savings. there are a lot of things that could be considered news in this world. >> that's right, david. but there are only a few stories that make us say -- no way! >> and first up, a massive snow globe on wheels. yes, we are serious. one woman in texas has decked out her car as a christmas snow globe, complete with the christmas tree, santa, frosty the snowman, fake snow, and get this, 100 lights. david, we have not heard from authorities there, but i'm sure this must violate some sort of traffic safety rule. something, i'm not sure. >> i can't even say anything, i'll get in trouble. the oakland raiders pulled off a dramatic win over the denver
broncos last night. but the only thing not pulled off, as you can see. tommy kelly lost his balance and his pants after tackling a broncos player and keeping that player out of the end zone. of course, kelly, his open end zone got displayed. yeah. >> and russian vice president vladimir putin in st. petersburg took a few competitors to the mat there. he had tea and visited with the team. >> he's beating up on a little girl. >> ouch! smack. they let him win, don't you think? putin practiced at the same judo school in his youth. >> i have a feeling, lynn, if you're judo wrestling the leader of russia -- >> you get to win. finally, usually serious sophisticated wedding announcements, one in which will
farrell makes a cameo appearance, he works on the movie farrell is currently shooting in new york. good for them. good for "the new york times" to let them have fun with the photo. >> it's hard to get into "the new york times" wedding section, so if you bring in will farrell, that's a no-brainer. while snow walloped the east coast the past weekend, shoppers were clicking away giving online retailers a huge boost. plus the majority leader harry reid's competition in the nevada senate race is getting his son started early in politics. it's just something we thought you should know. that's the soud of december 25th. and what do you do when you've got more question marks than check marks? you get 'em a home depot gift card. they can use it in-store or online, which makes the perfect gift because they can pick out what they really want, letting them take your dollars and our low prices as far as they can go. now, that's some stocking stuffer. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot.
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it comes after talks between the two companies collapsed last week. spiker said the new bid will stand until further notice to give gm time to assess the proposal. homeowners helped by the obama administration's plan to prevent foreclosures are still at risk. one finding shows nearly 40% who received a loan modification that reduced their monthly payments by 20% or more were again at least two months late within a year. oil prices dropped today. pressured by strong u.s. currency. oil down 70 cents, falling just below $74 a barrel. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to msnbc. welcome back, everyone. i'm lynn barry live in new york. >> i'm david shuster live in washington. in "the big picture" at this hour, the last-minute christmas shopping rush is on. some stores are extending promotions to make up for lost sales because of the east coast
blizzard over the weekend. some are extending hours and shipping deadlines. jane wells is in los angeles with more on what procrastinators can look forward to in the final shopping days before christmas. jane? >> reporter: david, i'm exhausted, that's why i'm sitting down. i sat down in this chair at pier one a half an hour ago. i am not going anywhere. i'm done. they say the super saturday we had could account for as much as $15 billion in sales. that would have been impacted by the storm on the east coast. now some think the saturday sales was a loss of only $2 billion because the weather was so great in the rest of the country. stores are going to be expanding hours and maybe doing some other deals to make up for it. others say the weather isn't as bad this time of year as it was last year. weather friends international said there have only been seven heavy snow days leading up to christmas compared to 20 last year. in the weekend before christmas last year, even though it wasn't as bad in one area as this
weekend was, there was a broader storm from coast to coast. sales are improving across all sectors of retail, though. electronics are slowing. and even though there may be sales out there, people are -- some stores are starting to run short of inventory, as they warned they might. at places like aeropostale, fewer hoodies. i got a tweet from a shopper in best buy in florida, he said he may have to go online for the camera he wants. a lot of people went online this weekend when they couldn't get to the malls. that's helping ebay's paypal make some money and visa and mastercard. weather trends is saying for the rest of this week in the northeast, the weather should be pretty decent. if you didn't get to the store this weekend, you can do it this week. >> jane, thank you. david, now to the bigger picture. the rush to ship those last-minute merchandises you ordered and presents that you still need to send. of course, today is expected to be the busiest day of the year
for the u.p.s., the world's largest shipping carrier will deliver more than 22 million packages today. that's 250 packages a second. makes your head spin. janet is live in louisville, kentucky, at u.p.s. world port. is it affecting u.p.s.? >> reporter: it is affecting u.p.s., and not in a bad way. they run 365 days a year here, 24 hours a day. they said 22 million packages today. about 2 million processed through this huge facility. the 747 behind me there, heading to syracuse, new york, in a couple of hours, fully loaded with packages. but here's how u.p.s. may be benefiting. those people in the northeast who were not able to go into the brick and mortar store this weekend, they were pointing and clicking, online sales up 24% over those same days last year. guess what, they have to be
delivered. so they're doing an extra, what's called sort here tonight. they're expecting a very busy day tomorrow. not as busy as today. but very busy. and they think that is a ramification of people shopping online over the weekend. now getting those packages delivered. now, they did have some issues just like the passenger airlines, especially in the philadelphia area. but since then they've been able to reroute and reschedule and deliveries are pretty much running ontime. these folks are used to doing it around the clock. they're just running faster around the hamster circle, if you will. >> well, those presents have to end up underneath the tree somehow. so hopefully they'll get their wheels up. wednesday is the absolute last day to ship overnight with u.p.s. so don't get caught like me, being a procrastinator. >> reporter: they really stressed, and they wanted me to know, you can send it on wednesday but it has to go
overnight. that costs a little bit more. >> so the gift is a little bit less. sorry, mom. thanks, janet, live in louisville, kentucky. well, before you pull out your cell phone the next time you're behind the wheel, you'll want to listen to this. there's a new study that reveals that motorists who write text messages while driving are six times more likely to crash than those who don't text while driving. the report is the latest in a series of studies about driver distractions from cell phones by psychologists at the university of utah. david? lynn, new information out today about the swine flu and children. according to a report released from the journal of the american medical association, based on an australian study, just one dose of the h1n1 vaccine is effective at protecting infants and children from contracting swine flu. global health officials are still recommending children get two swine flu shots for full protection.
again, this report suggested one might actually do the trick. still ahead, there's been a lot of conflicting statements in the health care debate, and now one democratic senator is calling for a day of reckoning. >> that's right, david. plus, the new white house strategy ahead of the 2010 midterms. that's all in today's face-off coming up next the.li . take 2 extra strength tylenol every 4 to 6 hours?!? taking 8 pills a day... and if i take it for 10 days -- that's 80 pills. just 2 aleve can last all day. perfect. choose aleve and you can be taking four times... fewer pills than extra strength tylenol. just 2 aleve have the strength to relieve arthritis pain all day.
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your doctors, when the way your health care changes seems like a good idea to you, when the american public sees the discrepancy what really is and what they were told by the republicans, there will be a reckoning. there will come a day of judgment about who was telling the truth. >> well, there you have it, the senator of rhode island taking republicans to the woodshed for their delay tactics. false statements in the health care reform debate, david. >> in today's "face-off" despite the gop delaying efforts and delaying efforts by conservative democrats and false statements, it appears the senate bill could pass as early as christmas eve and then it would quo to the house for reconciliation. who wins and who loses here. a democratic strategist and ron christie is a republican strategist and former aid to
former president george w. bush. it appears they're getting something through the senate. the democrats have won. the republicans have lost. because regardless of the numbers, the fact is republicans have been unable to stop this. >> well, david, i prefer to look at it in this way. i think the democrats have won a short-term victory. but i think the american people are going to be the losers in this, not the republican party. i'm stunned by the promises we saw at the beginning of the year. we were told we would be able to cover everybody, and it would bend the cost curve and there would be full transparency in the effort. you've seen a lot of sleight of hand and 1:00 a.m. votes. there is going to be a day of reckoning. i think if the promises of the democrats don't hold up, they'll take a beating in the 2010 election. >> i couldn't disagree more. first of all, i love sheldon whitehouse. there will be a day of reckoning. there will be a difference between the rhetoric from the right and the republicans. here's one example.
we now have a noted m.i.t. economist who said this plan will save $7,500 for families. the agency that oversees medicare is saying medicare families are going to save $300 a year. people are going to see that pocketbook reality and say wait a minute, republicans, where are all the scare tactics you trotted out in this election. the premiums are actually not going to increase, but i think what you'll find in the private health insurance in the private controls in place now, you're going to see better care. granted, it's not 100% coverage. it's about 95% coverage. and for 30 million americans who suddenly have health insurance coverage that didn't have it before, i welcome the chance for them to go to the polls in 2010 and start voting. because those are real numbers. those are big numbers of voters who are going to see a direct impact on their lives. >> and david -- >> it's a great deal for the american people. >> david, this is exactly where you and i take issue, my friend. that's absolutely not true.
the fact of the matter is the taxes for this bill, if the president's able to sign something early next year, into february, the taxes on this bill will kick in immediately. the benefits will not be fully scaled in until 2014 and 2015 at the outset. and the democrats like to say we're going to bring the costs down. the fact of the matter is, you look at the nearly half a trillion-dollar cut to the medicare program, and look at the reimbursement rate of the doctors cut next year and indefinitely for every year afterwards, congress will never allow that to happen. you saw it this year. they separated the picks out. they will continue to add to the cost of this ridiculous measure. the fact of the matter is, the american people will not be any healthier as a result of this legislation. >> we'll let you respond before we change topics. >> what's interesting is, ron just used a classic republican tactic. just wait and see, this is the camel's nose under the tent. that was wrong when -- >> david, you never addressed my
question. you never a -- wait, i have to cut you off there. you never addressed the fact that the benefits will not kick in until 2014. >> the benefits and revenues ramp up. that's not one before the other. that's simultaneously, ron. i know it's hard for the republicans to argue good things can happen at the same time, but they can. when the republicans were against medicare, against medicaid and social security, they used the same rhetoric and same tactics. they were wrong then and they're wrong now. i welcome a chance to go to the polls with this victory under the democrats' belt. >> it's amazing to me when the republicans were trying to cut medicare, the democrats want to take half a trillion dollars out of the medicare program, that will relate to a reduction of services for seniors. that's what our american seniors don't need. in fact, the democrats, i wish they could be honest enough to say, you can actually take measures now, in a very incremental fashion. you can allow true competition by allowing people to buy
insurance across state lines. >> and the antitrust exemption for insurance companies. let's lift it. i'm all for it. >> let's talk about the deficit of president obama, speak bg that today. addressing his critics that his critics say it will cost more than it will save. >> i just want to be clear for all those who are continually carping about how this is somehow a big spending government bill, this cuts our deficit by $132 billion the first ten years and by over $1 trillion in the second. that argument that opponents are making against this bill does not hold water. >> so ron, there you go. attributed to the cbo. they've had those numbers up. what's your response to that? >> what i would say to that, again, what i was trying to say to my good friend good friend, it's such a lie. i hate to call what's going on on capitol hill right now a lie. but it is simply a lie to say to the american people, that you
are going to start collecting taxes in 2010. you're going to ramp in benefits that start in 2014 to 2015 and claim over a ten-year period you're actually going to save money. if that's true, lynn, why is it we need to have half a trillion dollars cut from immediate i care while at the same time increasing taxes across the board. that's the way the democrats can fund this. they raise taxes, lower benefits. this is not true deficit reduction. this is a sleight of hand. this is ridiculous. >> when my bought, president clinton, left the white house, we had a surplus for the first time since the kennedy administration. and when ron's bosses left the white house, we had the biggest deficits in american history. who do you trust to balance the budget. i trust democrats more. why? because they don't use these jingoistic statements like we'll never do anything on the revenue side. they balance budgets the hard way. with revenues and cuts that add up to deficit savings. i don't trust the republicans with my money when it comes to the deficit to this country.
i trust democrats, they're the only ones who have balanced the budget in the generations that preceded us. and they're going to do it this time now. >> david goodfriend and ron christie, always a lively, wonderful conversation, the two of you. thanks so much. >> happy holidays. two great issues they both illustrate. health care is the plan going to work, and the issue is it going to shave money off the deficit. they're related yet separate but both crucial political issues. important stuff. >> absolutely. coming up next, a former speaker of the house enjoying pricey perks from taxpayers. this, even though he's now a lobbyist. it's just one of the stories we thought that you should know. and then on "hardball," is the senate turning sour with all the name calling in the debate over health care? democratic senator bob casey and republican senator judd gregg joins "hardball," in eight to the table this holiday. from timeless favorites
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here are a few more things we thought our viewers should know. >> bo obama went from a portuguese water dog to a portuguese snow dog this weekend. record-breaking 16 inches of snow, bo got a little chance to experience the white stuff for the first time. cameras captured the first dog having a blast on the white house lawn. but that's not bo, that's some guy just walking down the street. there's bo, sort of walking around. he did jump in the snow. it was cute. next up, proof the law says you have to be 18 to vote, you're never too young to start campaigning. check out the newest volunteer
on team tark. he was born on thursday. proud dad danny tarcanian is running neck and neck with harry reid in nevada. the anti--reid bid with his dad's website on it was a gift from a friend. >> babies. finally, it pays to be the former speaker of the house. taxpayers are footing the bill for an office staff, cell phone, suv and satellite tv for former speaker of the house dennis hastert to the tune of more than $40,000 a month. the law provides those perks for five years after a speaker leaves office. and hastert gets it even though he's now a lobbyist. he's not allowed to use any of his government-funded perks in the course of his lobbying work. his spokesman says the # 1-term congressman is in full compliance with the rules but admits he only has one office in
illinois, the one taxpayers are paying for. those are just a few things we thought you should know. >> hmm. lynn, with senate democrats getting 60 votes to clear that important procedural hurdle very early this morning, passage of the senate health care bill seems all but certain. but to get there the chamber holds two more votes tomorrow. >> yeah, that's right. let's get right to our next read on politics with the stories we're going to be watching heading into tomorrow. mark murray, deputy political director for nbc news. mark, what's going on? spl hi, lynn and david. there are going to be two more procedural votes early tomorrow morning pe ging around 7:00 eastern time as kim strickland points out. the first vote is going to be an up or down vote, that has the new abortion language as well as the elimination of the public option that was in the original harry reid bill. also tomorrow, president obama will be meeting with small and community banks in their top representatives. this comes after president obama met